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Beyak: Noel not subscribing to 'free year' notion for Jets

Dennis Beyak
10/16/2011 10:45:17 PM
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It was an optional practice for the Jets Sunday following a long flight home from Phoenix as they prepare for Monday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The initial plan was a day off but Coach Claude Noel wanted to give the players who wanted to skate the opportunity to do so.

In all, 14 skaters and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec were on the ice. Pavelec is expected to start in net against the Penguins.

Assessing the three games so far, Noel accepted that the opener was an emotional game and some mistakes were made.

Some progress was made in Chicago despite the 4-3 loss, but Noel said "Saturday in Phoenix was a step back. Decisions and execution were poor."

There is talk across Canada by fans and media that this is a free year for the organization and that Jets fans are just happy to have them back; that the actual wins and losses are not that important.

"There is no free year for the coaches and the staff," replied Noel. "And it shouldn't be for the players. There is a level of play that is expected. I believed we are a playoff team, but right now too many guys are under-achieving. Way below the bar."

On the 'free year' topic, veteran defenceman Ron Hainsey disagrees.

"If we don't do well it will be a convenient excuse," Hainsey said. "The organization did a good job getting us ready for everything off the ice. We're just not doing it on the ice."

The numbers for the Jets are not good, from power play to penalty kill, goals for vs. goals against, and face off success.

Noel's response to the numbers was to the point:

"Not acceptable."


The Bloggers: TSN Radio 1290 broadcasters Dennis Beyak and Brian Munz cover the Winnipeg Jets all season long. Manitoba-native Beyak is the play-by-play announcer for Jets regional games on TSN Jets and on TSN Radio 1290. Munz serves as a commentator for Jets broadcasts on TSN Radio 1290. Munz had previously been the voice of the Manitoba Moose.

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